DIY Wednesday: Basil Salad Dressing

FriendsDIY Wednesday: Basil Salad Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived, I’m ready to admit something.

I’m kind of having a love affair with basil.   I know, I know.  It’s just a summer fling, but I can’t get enough of the stuff.  It smells so good, looks so pretty, and tastes phenomenal.  Even better, it makes any food I put in my mouth taste phenomenal.

I got into the fresh basil game a little late this summer because for most of the summer we were gone every weekend and I couldn’t get to the farmer’s market and I was not going to pay over $3 for the tiny little packages at the store.  But this past month we have made it to the market and one stand there sells fresh herbs of all kind and I can get a whole bunch of basil for $2.  Naturally I load up on it and come home and make all the basil things.

Besides the obvious pesto (which I have like 3 jars of right now) I have been making basil and lemon oil, and this dressing.  I have swooned about this dressing a few times over on Instagram so  I thought that I would share it with you guys.DIY Wednesday: Basil Salad Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

I’ve talked about making your own salad dressing before and I think it’s the best money and health saving switch you can make.  Making your own salad dressing is SO simple and you get to control the ingredients.  Store bought dressing is full of preservatives and you’re paying a lot of money to ingest those things.

So why not make your own?  This literally comes together in the touch of a blender button and BAM, you have a delicious, basil-filled dressing ready to go on salad, over vegetables, or straight into your mouth with a straw.  Which I’ve never done…

Basil Salad DressingDIY Wednesday: Basil Salad Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup loosely packed, whole basil leaves
  • 2 tsp roasted garlic or 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (you could also use almond milk)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Ready for this?  Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week…. if it lasts that long.

I love one step recipes almost as much as I love basil.  See how easy it is to make dressing?  You can even switch up the herbs you do and use parsley, dill, or cilantro.  Whatever your little heart desires! DIY Wednesday: Basil Salad Dressing | Life Healthfully Lived

Keep It Simple Series: Healthy Flavor

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Week 4!  I’m actually starting to like doing these videos.  At first I was nervous because I had never done anything like this before and if you know me I am not an in-front-of-the-camera kind of gal.  But I am starting to get into a groove and enjoying the whole process of making these videos for you guys.

How about you?  Do you like the videos?  Are there any topics that you would like me to cover?  Let me know in the comments so that I can make this blog work for you!

 

If you listen carefully you can hear Olaf (my kitten) meowing at me and knocking things over.  He likes to have my attention every single moment of the day so he gets confused when I’m talking to the camera and not to him.  He’s just a peach that way….

Baked Chickpea Tofu with Creamy Tomato Sauce

While I don’t eat meat, I don’t really eat that many soy products either.  I am a huge fan of tempeh and miso because they are fermented soy and have healthy probiotics, but other than that I don’t eat soy.  I like to make as much of my food as possible, because then I can control the ingredients and it is a lot cheaper.  So when I started seeing things about chickpea tofu, I was intrigued.

I love chickpeas in all their forms and had seen a lot of things made with chickpea flour but I could never find it any stores near me.  The other day as I was wandering the aisles of my grocery store (yes, I like to just stroll through the grocery store.  I know that’s weird, but I’m weird so it’s all good) I spotted chickpea flour for about $2.  I snapped it up and immediately started thinking of things that I could make.  This chickpea tofu was one of the easiest and most versatile dishes, so I started there.

Not only is it easy to make it can function in pretty much the exact same way as regular soy tofu.  I’m still experimenting with a few different ways to use chickpea tofu, but I wanted to start sharing it with you.  I love the flavor of the tofu and you can season it in any way that you want and it will absorb those flavors.  It might look like this recipe will take forever to make, but once the tofu is done it’s really just a matter of putting everything together.

Enough talking let’s get onto the food!

Baked Chickpea Tofu with Creamy Tomato Sauce

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Chickpea tofu- There are a few methods out there, but this is the one that worked the best for me.

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

1.  In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, turmeric, and 1 cup of water.  Whisk until smooth.

2. In a medium saucepan bring the remaining two cups of water to a boil.  While your water is heating up, lightly oil an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside

3.  Whisk the chickpea mixture into the boiling water making sure there are no lumps.  Lower heat and keep whisking the chickpea mixture for about 8 to 10 minutes until it’s thick and glossy.

4. Pour the chickpea mixture into the oiled pan and let cool on the counter.  Once cool, keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Baked Tofu and Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • Chickpea Tofu
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp italian seasonings
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 batch of my tomato sauce, or a jar of your favorite sauce
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk

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1.  Preheat oven to 425 and take your chickpea tofu out of the fridge and remove from baking dish.  If you used enough oil it should slide out easily.  Blot the bottom of the tofu with a paper towel to absorb some of the excess water. Cut tofu into bite size cubes and place in a bowl

2.  Line a baking dish with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Drizzle a little olive oil over tofu and sprinkle with the seasonings.  Shake the bowl to cover the tofu with the oil and seasonings and then spread in an even layer on baking dish.

3.  Bake for 25 minutes.  While tofu is baking, heat tomato sauce in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  When it is just simmering, stir in 1 cup of coconut milk.  Heat through and then cover and turn off heat.

4.  Remove tofu from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Plate the tofu and pour the tomato sauce over and enjoy!

 

It does seem like there are a lot of steps to this meal, but if you prepare the tofu ahead of time then this meal is a simple fix.  I made this on a Monday night and it was a perfect meal on a chilly night. Warm, filling, and tasty!

I’m going to be bringing you some more chickpea tofu/flour recipes over the next few weeks, but with the super bowl next weekend I have a special treat for you!  My balsamic cauliflower bites are amazing and sure to be a hit at your party!

Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend everyone!

 

Tomato Sauce

This is my go to sauce.  I make it large batches so that I have some on hand when I need a tasty and healthy tomato sauce!

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I use no salt added)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • vegetable broth or water
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat saute onions until soft and translucent.  Add in half your minced garlic and saute another minute.

2.  Add in oregano, basil, and fennel and stir to combine.  Then add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Using a potato masher, mash the sauce a little to crush the diced tomato chunks.  Depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce add in a little or a lot of broth or water.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste

3.  Bring the sauce to a boil and lower to a simmer.  Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

You can either use this right away or cool completely and store in clean jars in your fridge.  Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

Necessity is the mother of invention right?  Well that’s how this simple recipe came to be.  I decided that I wanted a snack of celery and hummus and I was absolutely positive that I had some homemade hummus sitting in my fridge.  Sadly, I was mistaken and there was no delicious hummus for me to eat my celery.  So was left with two choices.  I could eat my celery plain, but what kind of crazy person eats plain celery?  Or I could find some substitute for my non-existent hummus.  I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make a new batch of hummus but I did have a few things that I was able to throw together in less than 5 minutes and make a tasty dip.  I bet that you probably have most of these things on hand now, so if you have some plain celery you have a hankering for go make this super easy dip!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

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  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp mustard (I used hot mustard, but you can use whatever you have on hand)

1. Ready?  Mix this all together in a bowl and eat.  That’s it!

You can adjust the amounts to your taste and the amount of dip that you need to make.  This was a single snack size serving for me.  This would be a really great dip for a crudite plate for a holiday gathering.  I also used it as a topping for my lentil loaf last night and it added a really great flavor.  So whip this up and enjoy!